Walking with Emotionally Wounded Children

‘Walking with Emotionally Wounded Children’ workshop is designed to equip children workers to deal with emotionally wounded children at a very deep level.


Dirk Coetsee

and Elaine Kwok & Odette Davids

Current Status
Not Enrolled
SGD 550.00
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Course Overview

Children may get minor cuts, wounds, and face lacerations while playing, climbing, or during sports activities. These injuries will heal easily. Emotional wounds in children need special care and attention to heal.

The purpose of the course is to provide skills, knowledge and values for children workers to support such emotionally wounded children at a very deep level. The course introduces the participants to:

  • understanding and assessing an emotionally vulnerable child
  • understanding a healing relationship
  • applying tools for child counselling
  • understanding trauma and its effects

At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Develop personal values and a helping posture rooted in compassion, love and giving
  • Explain the effects of traumatic experiences on children
  • Apply basic practical ways to assess emotionally wounded children
  • Explain the basic principles of the “stop sign model” for helping severely traumatised children
  • Apply the principles of a therapeutic or healing relationship
  • Differentiate between helpful and unhelpful counselling responses
  • Apply the basic skills of empathic listening and “feeling” responses
  • Help develop a child’s understanding of emotions and the meaning thereof
  • Apply the principles of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing (CISD) to help groups of children in a crisis
  • Apply the principle of “listening” to the non-verbal communication of children through play or drawing
  • Apply basic therapeutic tools in helping children, through play and storytelling
  • Apply the principles of “community/fellowship” in the healing process

Target Audience

  • Anyone working with children, including:
    • Social Workers, Counsellors and Psychologists working in VWOs
    • Medical Social Workers working in hospitals and medical institutions
    • School Personnel, such as Principals and Vice-Principals, HOD Pupil Welfare, HOD Discipline and School Counsellors and Educators
    • Parents
    • People in religious organisations working with children

5 days

Testimonial from a past participant:

During the course, I had the chance to learn many practical skills such as active listening, art/drawing therapy, sandbox therapy, story-telling therapy, the STOP process, etc. and during the course, we were also given the chance to attempt to apply the skills during the practical aspect of the course.

Throughout the course, my initial questions that I had were answered as I began to realise that the practical skills we had learnt are actually very applicable in Singapore, in fact, not just Singapore, but any country. Also, I come to realise that the skills learnt are not only applicable to children, but to people of all ages – youths, young adults, adults, even elderly. This is because of the philosophy behind the skills – that everyone has a story to share and a voice to be heard (But perhaps more so for children, as their voices are often the ones that are easily ignored). 

I learnt that a person does not have to experience something big in their life, like the worst possible scenario that we can imagine to be considered as traumatized, but basically, as long as the person had experienced hurt in a way that caused an impact in their life – someone whose voice and opinions had always been belittled, someone who does not feel accepted by others, etc.

I have come to learn more about myself too. I always thought that I am a good listener who provides a listening ear to others. Yet through the active listening activity, I learnt that that actively listening to a person is so much more intentional, that one should be focus and attentive to the person who is sharing, that it is more important about how the person feels and not how we as the listeners feel.

Course Content

About the Trainer

Dirk Coetsee
Dirk was born in Pretoria, grew up in Stellenbosch, and attended Stellenbosch University, where he completed a BA (Hons) in Psychology, BTh and MTh. (with Pastoral Care as subject).He was ordained as minister in the Uniting Reformed Church, Riebeek Kasteel (South Africa), where he served for 12 years. In 1999, he joined Petra Institute with his family, where he has served as Training Facilitator, Managing Director and currently as Manager: Strategic Partnerships.He helped with the development of our Walking with Wounded Children (a short course equipping participants to support emotionally wounded children and families) as well as other training programmes. He also assists with the planning and facilitation of strategic planning workshops, advocacy meetings, seminars and webinars and different forms of training courses in various African, Middle Eastern, East European and Asian countries. He is involved with informal research, and has published some academic articles.Motivating Dirk is his passion to see people around the world benefit from his efforts to build strong families and healthy children.
Elaine Kwok & Odette Davids
Elaine Kwok and Odette Davids are trained facilitators of the course, and will co-teach this course with Dirk Coetsee.ELAINE KWOK Elaine holds a Bachelor of Theology degree from the Singapore Bible College. She is currently a Children Pastor in a local church in Singapore.In 2005, she completed leadership and mentoring training with Petra Institute, South Africa, where she has served as her Training Facilitator for training programs both locally and overseas.Elaine has been working with children and their parents since 1993. She is passionate to see families both young and old learning and growing together. Her vision is to see children being well developed in their formative years, raised and released into their fullest potential. Elaine desires to bring good training beyond the Singapore shore to countries that will benefit from her training.ODETTE DAVIDS Odette was born in South Africa and, as a young adult, held various positions in several countries. She always had a passion for children, and in 2011, joined a Nigerian organisation serving orphans. To further equip her for child counseling, she attended Petra Institute training, which eventually led her to join the organisation as a facilitator in 2013.She has vast experience working with orphans and vulnerable children, as well as training adults. Amongst others, she lived in a children’s home in Indonesia for 7 months and trained teams in East Africa, South Sudan, and Mongolia, where she plans to return soon.Odette regards children as her most important teachers and is still inspired by the incredible spiritual strength of children going through tough times in communities across the world.

Available Funding

Special Fee: S$550
Normal Fee: $3,000